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At dinnertime

Meal times can be mad times. De-stress family dinners by getting your excited youngsters involved in the cooking to keep them busy. It’s also an entertaining way for them to keep writing.

Make the letter

Sometimes, playing with food can be a good idea. Making letters with the food on their plate can encourage your child to eat their greens, and also write at the same time. Try making the letter ‘A’ with carrots or green beans. And if you can get it, alphabetti spaghetti is perfect for this activity.

Write a recipe

How about asking your child to write a recipe? (Get ready for some amusing suggestions.) You could talk about your child’s favourite meal, then get them to write out a recipe or some instructions for how to make it. If it’s a bit tricky - they could copy it from a recipe book or a website. The next time you make their favourite food, just follow your child’s recipe together.

Whose place is it?

Why not get your child to make place names for the family? Fold a sheet of paper in half length-ways then get your child to write place names for everybody who’s eating with you. They could use different colours and decorations that they think each person would like.

Hang on! Try my amazing Read ideas.

Don't forget about the everyday Count ideas.

Handy tips

Kids love doing grown-up things. So the next time you pop out for a few things at the shops, why not let your child have a go at counting out and paying at the till?

Even mealtimes can turn into storytimes. Ask your child to create a story about the Cutlery family – with characters like Peggy Plate, Jamie Knife, Fiona Fork and Baby Spoon.

Singing counting songs such as 5 currant buns, 10 green bottles, can be a great way to help your child count backwards.